Middle Age Miles

[UPDATE: RoomiPay as a service is dead as of Nov 2018. RIP RoomiPay.] RoomiPay Lives! – Codes as 3x Travel on CSR – October Payments Now Open

Executive Summary

RoomiPay has now been confirmed to code as Travel and earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points, for payments made using a Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) card.  The standard fee for RoomiPay payments is now 2.9%.  This gives RoomiPay substantial value as a points-earning mechanism.  You can effectively purchase UR points at 0.94 cents per point, whereas the UR points are worth at least 1.5 cents per point if you have a CSR card and redeem for travel.

Analysis and Details

RoomiPay is a fairly new online service with the primary function of allowing users to pay rent with a credit card.  RoomiPay was added to supplement the RoomiApp.com website and app, which focuses on matching roommates to one another and to available rental properties.

A bit of a history lesson – During early 2018, it was possible to earn 3x Citi ThankYou Points (TYP) on RoomiPay payments by using the Citi AT&T Access More card.  At that time, RoomiPay coded in a way such that it fell within the Access More card’s 3x bonus category for online retail purchases.  That ended abruptly, for payments made in late May for June rent, when the coding for RoomiPay payments changed.  Thus, when we last wrote about RoomiPay in mid-June 2018, we pronounced it dead for 3x TYP earning on the Access More card (see RoomiPay Dead for 3x TYP Earning on Citi AT&T Access More (Data Point); this article also has more details on the history of RoomiPay payments, if you’re interested).

Now, fast-forward to last month – Our continuing research into RoomiPay revealed a new twist.  The excellent blogger Dave Grossman of MilesTalk reported that RoomiPay had again changed its coding such that it would earn 3x points on cards that earn 3x for Travel, such as the CSR or the Citi Prestige or Premier cards.  MilesTalk included a screenshot confirming 3x UR point-earning on his CSR card.

This information was incredibly useful. With a CSR card, UR points are worth 1.5 cents per point if you redeem them for travel through the Chase Travel Portal.  And they are potentially worth even more if transferred to a Chase airline or hotel transfer partner for a valuable redemption.  Even with an increased fee of 2.9% on RoomiPay, this gave us the ability to generate UR points for 0.94 cents per point.

Here’s the math if you’re interested – we’ll use a payment of $1,000 as an example, to keep it relatively simple:

  • A $1,000 payment will incur a $29 fee, for a total charge of $1,029.
  • The $1,029 charge on the CSR will earn 3,087 UR points (1,029 * 3)
  • Dividing the cost of the points (that is, the $29 fee) by the number of points received gives us $29 / 3,087 = 0.94 cents per UR point
  • And taking it one step further, our discount for travel purchased through the Chase Travel Portal at 1.5 cents per point is:  1 – (0.94 / 1.5) = 1 – 0.626 = a 37.4% discount!

With that information in hand, we set out to confirm that RoomiPay charges would code as 3x Travel on our CSR card.  We made a RoomiPay payment, waited for it to post, and voila! – we confirmed MilesTalk’s report and earned 3x UR points on our RoomiPay charge:

RoomiPay payments are now open for October rent.  You can access the payment site at https://roomipay.com. The fee for payments is still 2.9%.  At this time we are not aware of any promotional discounts for October payments. (RoomiPay has sometimes run promotional discounts in the past.)

We have submitted a payment through RoomiPay for delivery on or before October 1, using a CSR card.  We fully expect it to again code as Travel and earn 3x UR points.

In addition, we wanted to test whether a RoomiPay payment would code as Travel and earn 3x points on our US Bank Altitude Reserve card.  We started a second payment and got all the way to the submission screen.  However, at that point RoomiPay would not allow a second payment from the same account for the same delivery date.  We will continue to look for data points for the Altitude Reserve and will update this article if and when we learn anything.

Finally, before we sign off, we have a couple of notes about RoomiPay.  One, please note that you must verify your identity with RoomiPay before you can make a payment on the site.  To verify your identity, follow the steps in this RoomiPay article.  Two, note that RoomiPay only makes payments via ACH.  (It used to make payments with hard-copy checks, but this stopped several months ago.)  Thus, you will need to have the payee’s bank account information (routing number and account number) in order to make a RoomiPay payment.

Major Hat Tip: Dave Grossman of MilesTalk

Do you have suggestions or data points about using RoomiPay?  Please let us know in the Comments!

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